Working in a small team has been a great experience so far, working one on one with the creative director has allowed room to have a say on design development and decisions that I may not have had at a larger studio.
One thing that I didn’t anticipate that would be a skill to work on would be the focus (and self- control) to work remotely and efficiently. Working full time, but not necessarily at work has exercised the bounds of my ability to concentrate and take responsibility for how I use my time best. With my CD an email or call away and a detailed briefing of tasks to get through the temptation to procrastinate on longer days can be more difficult to keep at bay. However, there are a few ways I have found that help me along.
Location. Different places for different tasks.
As much as working from home can be relaxing in peak cosines, it doesn’t always give the space away from day to day distractions. For research reading briefs and write-ups, I have found working in coffee shops gives me the best ability to focus and channel my energy into information heavy work. Being around other people also working and some lively background noise I feel holds me accountable for staying on target. Finding the right space for me took a little while but having established a good knowledge of local coffee shops with good snack options and reliable wi-fi has been a godsend, museums, and institutions with study areas and cafes have also been a good choice when you need to be out and about. I have found a change of scenery also can help if I’m feeling a little stuck.
For getting into the nitty-gritty of iterating design, home comforts and copious amounts of tea seems to be a better fit. Being able to feel free to try new ideas which may fail but may lead you into new interesting areas, for me means feeling safe and at ease in my environment that I feel at work and at home rather than out and about.
Knowing how much time you have in your working day and what you have to get done, keeping in mind more may be sent your way throughout the day is a good place to start. Being able to communicate concisely to clarify over email, call or Skype is a good way to ground yourself and achieve the task in hand
and keep on track. I normally start by refreshing myself with what I’ve been sent to do that day then them write down in order of priority and when I aim to have the completed while leaving time before the end of the day to send over any files and notes.
I’ve got a lot more to learn and I have also come to realise that it’s sometimes hard to keep yourself motivated, but being able to feel confident to work alone and make decisions independently is a skill that I am glad to keep on working on as it gives me freedom and an understanding of how this could help in a remote working or freelance role.
Tea (or Coffee) Note/sketchbook Tablet